Cancer

A question came in the mail whose answer demanded a swift, well thought out response. The mail carried with it a question on cancer, breast cancer to be specific. A disease that grows on touching lives irrevocably has result to questions asked and answered by many before. According to the WHO (World Health Organisation) says that global cancer burden is estimated to have risen to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Translation, 1 in 5 men and 1 in 6 women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime. While 1 in 8 men and 1 in 11 women die from the disease. Sometimes the intimacy is lost in the number until it touches you. But statistics help paint a picture of the severity. And when it does, most shudder with fear.

We fear what we cannot understand, what we do not accept. And that which we don’t understand or accept we don’t face.   Cancer is in no rush to leave. Cancer is here until a cure is found, we need to accept that. Sure, there are factors that render some of us more vulnerable to developing certain cancers. The include, heredity, genetic factors, lifestyle and exposure to certain chemicals. But even then, it is not possible to say why one person gets cancer and the other does not. Sometimes we have the power to do something in prevention of certain cancers. And sometimes it is things we have no control over.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy normal body tissue. There is at least one cell in you with the capacity to be cancerous; that is cells that grow and self replicate at a rate faster than normal. The body is well equipped with an equal opportunity cleanup crew. There job is to clear out the abnormal, the worn out and the unwanted cells. They also clear foreign (bacteria, fungi) and local (the body’s cells) so as to keep normal functioning. However, at times the rate at which cell replication is happening is too fast for the clean-up crew. Cancer may even become sneaky, finds a way to convince the crew to let it stay and beats the system.

No single part of the body is exempt from developing a cancerous growth. And it is not unheard of to have multiple body organs and tissues affected. And like with any foreign invader, the cancer comes with its set of complications. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments which are designed to kill the cancerous cells come with side effects. The effect are like, nausea, mouth sores, taste changes and nutrient deficiencies. All causing damage or annihilation of healthy cells. When the body undergoes an assault of this magnitude, it ceases to function as it did prior to the assault. And because the body works to rebuild and replenish the broken and the lost, nutritional needs increase exponentially.

The question raised was“So what do you do post cancer treatment?” . Simple answer, adopt a lifestyle characterized by good and proper nutrition, regular physical activity, stress management and adequate rest.  That is the Key.

While there is no cure and no sure way to prevent cancer development. Recurrence being well nourished has proven to be an important factor in treatment and recovery. And sometimes, even in the mitigation of certain cancers.                                      

Remedies

Diet

Good and proper nutrition is relative to each person taking into account their nutritional status. This should be monitored regularly for any deficiencies or excesses. Even so, a diet made up of a rainbow of fruits, vegetables, fibre from whole, unrefined grains, quality proteins from both plant and animal source, antioxidant rich herbs and spices (such as peppers, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon) all in their most natural and unaltered state has proven to respond well to cancers. While undergoing treatment, it is best to keep off over – processed foods, foods packed with sugar and additives. Alcohol and tobacco are also a big no no. Remember, what you eat will form the framework for the rebuilding and replenishing.

Exercise

Get moving. What is recommended is any physical activity that involves brisk walking, swimming or yoga. Start small and go as far as your body allows you to.

Poor and lack of stress management is linked to development and progression of many non-communicable diseases e.g cancer. Find something that suits you, that works for you.

Rest

Though the daily demands of life take up the larger percentage of your energies, make rest a priority; Sleep for at least 6-8 hours daily. And take some time off; Maybe give yourself a day off every week where you do nothing but indulge in self-care.
I hope that answers you dear reader and wishing you a long, happy, quality life from Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre.

Written by:
Ababach Tamiru.
Nutritionist/ Dietician.
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre

The C-word.

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